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Health care industry is transforming through data analytics

Health care is a constantly changing industry. Medical equipment, patient care delivery, diagnostic capabilities, treatment options — all are on a spectrum of continuous evolution and improvement. Heightened data collection, analysis and application play increasingly important roles in changing this overall health care landscape.

Examples of health care data include:

  • claims and cost data, from insurance and other reimbursement agencies
  • pharmaceutical and research and development (R&D) data
  • clinical data, from electronic health records (EHRs)
  • patient behavior data and consumer survey data.

While the industry has collected these and other data categories for many years, analysis has more recently been recognized as a critical need. Data is now one of the most valuable and longest lasting assets in health care organizations. Governing and analyzing such an asset requires specialized training.

Analyzing the collected data can reveal patterns that, when translated into action, decrease costs, support clinical decisions, cut down on fraud and abuse, help with better patient care coordination, improve patient wellness, and more effectively predict or drive the use of resources. Analysis can also illustrate trends in care delivery that produce the most positive results and provide insights into the most cost-effective approaches for desired patient outcomes.

A Health Care Data Analytics Master of Science degree program lies at the intersection between information systems and health care, marrying care delivery with the capture and analysis of data. Job opportunities in health care data analytics are plentiful, particularly in IT departments, supporting electronic health records (EHRs), performance improvement, risk and compliance. While the field offers excellent career challenges and opportunities for individuals who want to expand or revitalize a career, the work also helps improve overall care for patients.

This degree provides significant opportunities for individuals who:

  • are already in health care, committed to determining the best way to achieve results and exploring options beyond care delivery.
  • are recent graduates drawn to technology, with mathematics skills who want to be part of the health care industry.
  • have a computer science degree, thrive as a member of a project team and can utilize IT expertise in the health care arena.

The bottom line in health care is caring for patients. Working in tandem with a team that includes clinicians, administration, operations and other departments, data analysis can identify trends, compile treatment results across patient populations, and yield other significant records that can then be used as a starting point for developing policy, protocol and processes.

Individuals have the opportunity to explore an innovative, exciting career option by combining an understanding of one business with another, whether their background is in health care or IT. Marquette’s Health Care Data Analytics Master of Science degree program takes advantage of the strengths and trajectories of mathematics, statistics, computer science and nursing in combination with our Jesuit tradition to make this career path a reality.

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Aundrea facilitates Marquette’s new Health Care Data Analytics graduate program, which connects high potential students and working professionals to opportunities across the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Marquette, Aundrea was with the University of Minnesota/Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis and SSM Health in Madison.

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